Vadodara: From flash mobs to short films, a large group of anti-prohibition crusaders have have decided to come up with a variety of initiatives to spread awareness and debate the strict liquor laws in the state.

Nearly 125 persons from across Gujarat gathered at the Alkapuri Club in the city and discussed ways to protest against the prohibition law.

The participants, including several women, were of the opinion that prohibition law should be revoked in Gujarat. “We will make short films promoting removal of prohibition that will be uploaded on YouTube. Also, flash mobs spreading awareness about how liquor laws are ineffective and how people should maintain self-restraint will be done in different parts of the city,” said Rajiv Patel, who is leading the campaign along with another Barodian, Dina Patel.

A 15-member core team that has members from Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Bilimora, Nadiad and Petlad was formed on Sunday. This team will launch campaign in their respective towns and garner support for revoking the prohibition laws.

The plan is a fallout of the raid that the Vadodara rural police conducted at the farmhouse of a businessman in December last year.

The raid wherein 271 persons including women and elderly persons were booked under the Prohibition Act has left the corporate sector and many citizens rattled. Patel has been running a Facebook page ‘We do not need prohibition’ over last few years and the number of members have crossed 27,000.

“Before that raid, the page had 11,000 members but the numbers have shot up in last two months. There is lot of anger among people about the way the police conducted raid and treated the women guests,” Dina said.

“It’s a myth that women are safe in Gujarat due to prohibition. Alcohol has nothing to do with crime rates and our culture has always been good. Let us decide what is good and bad for us,” Dina told TOI. Rajiv Patel added that they will start the process to collect five lakh signatures and take it to the government before insisting to start debate on prohibition laws. “People should debate on the policies affecting them. We will also launch campaign in Gujarati language to reach out to wider audiences,” Patel said.

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